The sun is shining again. The birds are singing. Hope springs eternal. Baseball is back!
Grown men are playing a child’s game and loving ever minute on the field. Baseball is the greatest game and sport ever contrived. It’s a “thinking man’s game” and you have to be mentored into the intricacies of it, but when you are, when you know, it’s magical.
Our family enjoys baseball. No, let’s be honest. Our family loves baseball! Some of the girls love it more than the boys. (And know it better too) The opening of Major League baseball is bigger than New Years and the Fourth of July rolled together. It’s cause for celebration and we celebrate!
In the interest of family’s history, I thought I would take a few minutes to trace the origins of this fanaticism. It’s time I take responsibility for the “mess” I’ve made and explain the origin of the disease.
I honestly can’t remember which came first. Was it watching Saturday baseball with my big brother on Television? Or, was it looking at the baseball cards he got out of bubble gum packages? Or, was it watching him play little league baseball while I chased foul balls to be traded for free snow cones at the concession stand? Hey, come to think of it, I’ve found a new scapegoat for my addiction. David did it!
By the time I was 7 I was fully hooked. I listened to the St. Louis Cardinals on clear channel KMOX radio. Only they were not always so clear in North Texas. In 1965 the Houston Colt 45s changed their name to the Astros and moved into the Astrodome. They also signed a new radio contract that brought them to KDNT in Denton, Texas. I was in business!
Now I could hear the entire game without interruptions. Except for my mom, who was telling me to go to bed. That’s when my first transistor radio became my favorite all-time gift. The little beauty had an ear piece. I could plug it in, turn on the Astros’ game and appear to be sleeping. I really was in business! (Don’t tell my mom.)
And so the disease was well established at an early age. The more I learned the game, the more I loved it. I even played the game for a few years and had wonderful coaches and teammates. But I must have been born to love the game because I was certainly not born to play it! And so I talked it, taught it, watched it, took my kids to it and exposed them all to this wonderful game of baseball. All of them caught the bug. Some are in remission but most are still as ill as their father and infecting their kids.
The Astros played their way into the World Series in 2005. It was their first and only time in their now 52 years they made it to the biggest of baseball stages. I had tickets to game 4 of the Series! But they were high up and a great distance from the field. I managed to trade them in for box seats for game 5! Only the game never happened. The Chicago White Sox swept the Astros in 4 games.
Hope springs eternal. The Astros are going to the World Series this year! (Ok, that’s a little too hopeful and I know the game a little too well to be that hopeful, but they will be more competitive and they will return to the baseball biggest stage soon.) They opened the season last night by beating last year’s Cy Young Award winner and the Cleveland Indians 2 – 0. Hey, this could be their year!